As the UK's centre of excellence in wine education, training and research, we are delighted to be hosting a series of events named 'Plumpton Wine Talks'. Dedicated wine enthusiasts will be invited to Plumpton Wine Centre for an evening of informal, but highly informative, presentations of fundamental issues concerning the industry.
Join us for the third in the series, The Provocations of Terroir with John Atkinson MW on 22nd March, 18:00-19:00.
Purchase your ticket here
The Provocations of Terroir: Tales from the cellars and vineyards of Champagne and Burgundy.
How do the actions and words of vignerons coincide within and between these two regions? Is there a scientific basis for terroir, or is it just too aboriginal: a lived, spiritual entity whose boundaries and agency will always evade attempts at analytical capture and consensus building? Is terroir like a Siren, seducing us from afar, but always scuppering our attempts at liaison and exposition?
The talk will examine terroir as both an artefact and a concept, tracing its force and influence through time and over territory, from medieval prohibitions on measurement and curiosity through to hydrology, gene expression and the economic capitalization of vineyards.
Finally, the lecture will consider the current tensions and divisions surrounding terroir. The super-animated universes of biodynamics and natural wine make strong proprietorial claims over the terms use; accordingly, the ultimate reconciliation of wine with its environment is only made possible - we are told - if we adhere to prescribed, holistic ways of seeing and doing.
About John Atkinson MW
On passing the Master of Wine examination in 1999, John received the Villa Maria Viticulture Prize, and the Bollinger Medal for Excellence in Wine Tasting.
Over twenty years, John has worked with some of the most esteemed names in wine production, including, Paul Draper, Alvaro Espinosa, and Bailey Carrodus. For the past 15 years, he has worked at Champagne Billecart-Salmon, in Mareuil-sur-Ay. The House is a true innovator in a region of entrenched traditions. The techniques of cold fermentation and double debourbage were first used at Billecart in the 1980s, but a more recent change in enological direction now means the House is the 4th biggest user of oak within the region.
John has a small experimental vineyard in the UK for still wine production but also works in Bordeaux and the Midi. Over the past 10 years, John has authored several published papers on Burgundy’s detailed terroir and marketing.